Let’s talk about affluent bridal shoppers. What are they looking for?
What every other bridal customer wants: a beautiful jewelry item that captures deep emotions at a great price. They have more money to spend, but they still are looking for the right price-value relationship.
They don’t want to spend more than they have to, but can put a little more emphasis on the value side of the equation, whereas lower-income couples may be forced to put more weight on the price side.
So no one-upping their friends?
Of course, some couples might want to best their besties with bigger diamonds, more bling, but for most, it is all about communicating their feelings for each other. The choice isn’t toward impressing others, but impressing their loved one.
Where do they like to shop?
Affluent consumers will search far and wide to find the right piece and the right retailer. Their search is likely to start with friends who’ve been in the market recently. Some may turn to jewelers that have served their family well over the years, but if they are younger, they are likely to search out their own special provider.
Buying bridal jewelry is often a couple’s introduction to the fine-jewelry category. They have a lot to learn and will seek out a jeweler who can provide the right information to make them informed shoppers. That’s the best way to meet their needs and get their business.
Is this segment of the market adventurous or traditional when it comes to design?
Higher-end jewelry customers can be more adventurous in their designs simply because they have the means to indulge themselves. Newer, less conventional cuts, multi-diamond designs, and rings combining diamonds with colored gemstones may have special appeal.
Anything else we should know about designing for high-net-worth individuals?
If there is one value affluent consumers want, it is the ability to personalize the piece so that it is truly unique. For them, personalizing the choice, being able to add or swap stones, is important.
How do they feel about vintage and antique rings?
Vintage and antique have a niche in the wedding jewelry market, but [that trend] may lean toward taking an antique piece or family stone and retrofitting it into a new setting with added stones. Another trend that is becoming prevalent in the market is couples replacing their original engagement ring with a newer, bigger one as their spending power grows.
In such instances, they often choose to have the original stone made into a pendant for sentimental reasons.
Do ethical concerns hold much sway in their buying decisions?
The emphasis is on finding something really special. Considerations like sustainability and ethical choices are secondary to that. Such might push them over the edge toward purchase, but it is not what’s top of mind.
Main image: Pamela Danziger. (Unity Marketing)
This article is from the September-October 2023 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.